Saturday, December 28, 2013
I just KNOW what causes what
Or so Thomas Mucha (below) seems to think. Which proves he hasn't got mucha of an idea about anything -- science in particular. He lists a range of bad happenings and offers not a shred of evidence that they are in any way abnormal. We just have to take his word for it, apparently. Too bad if you don't feel mucha inclined to do that. Perhaps we could call this "Warmism for the brain-dead"
For multitudes around the world today, calamity has already arrived. Drastic climate changes have sparked economic dislocation, political discord, and even death. And it's happening right now, in nearly every corner of the planet.
Above all, climate change — and what it means for life on Earth — is prompting fear and unease across the world.
For multitudes around the world today, calamity has already arrived. Drastic climate changes have sparked economic dislocation, political discord, and even death. And it's happening right now, in nearly every corner of the planet.
To help understand the breadth, depth and scope of climate change — and what it means to the people living through it — GlobalPost's award-winning team of correspondents and videographers spent much of 2013 investigating this global phenomenon, assessing the environmental, economic and political costs.
Their reporting mirrors the dire warnings of climate experts.
Our team has traveled to the Amazon rainforest, where scientists are struggling to understand what human activity is doing to the world's most complex ecosystem.
We've scaled the Himalayan mountains of northern India, where rapidly melting ice and shifting rains are triggering deadly flash floods.
We've explored the ice fields of Greenland, Alaska and Canada where glacial melting is altering landscapes and threatening traditional ways of life.
We've traveled to the southern African island of Madagascar where the world's only lemurs are disappearing amid a host of severe climate changes.
We've trekked across the North African country of Mali where desertification is contributing to rising political instability, including the growth of Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaeda in the Maghreb.
We've visited the Gobi, a vast and expanding desert across Inner Mongolia and China that's hurtling sand and dust into the atmosphere, which then mixes with polluted skies to create toxic clouds that are choking some of Asia's most-populous cities.
We've also examined the impact of climate change on coastal regions and sea life, including the disappearing beaches of the Mexican tourist mecca of Cancun and the dying coral reefs off the coast of Belize.
And we've journeyed across the Great Plains of the United States, where increasingly extreme weather now threatens one of the world's most fertile agricultural regions.
Over the next 10 weeks we'll be featuring these stories and videos — one every week — in a series we've named Calamity Calling. We hope you'll follow along each week, and share these stories and videos widely.
As our reporting will illustrate, there is no bigger story on the planet. And none that so dramatically shows that, yes, we are all in this together.
U.N. CALLS SUMMIT ON GLOBAL WARMING
Despite evidence that earth has not warmed for 15 years
Despite record cold around the globe, increasing ice sheets at the poles and vast snow fields covering large swaths of North America, the United Nations has announced its next global warming international meeting for New York City on Sept. 23, 2014, under the banner, “Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action.”
The 2014 UN global warming summit is being billed as a prelude to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, Conference in 2015, at which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hopes to advance the UN agenda to get a final international agreement signed in Paris to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol carbon emission reduction agreement dating back to 2008.
“I challenge you to bring to the summit bold pledges,” Ban Ki-Moon said in a UN statement. “Innovate, scale-up, cooperate and deliver concrete action that will close the emissions gap and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement through the UNFCC process.”
The UN is pressing ahead with a global warming agenda despite increasing scientific evidence the earth has entered a new cooling period and amidst continued fallout from what has become known as “Climategate,” the release in November 2009 of thousands of emails circulated among members of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] following the hacking of a server at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.
“Climategate” simply documented the falsification of scientific data to “prove” key global warming theories.
Global warming critic Marc Morano, in a debate televised on UN television during the UN’s 2013 climate summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 19, 2013, challenged a UN interviewer in a heated exchange that scientific evidence no longer validates the UN assumption the earth is warming.
In a sometimes contentious interview, Morano charged the UN IPCC reports are political, not scientific, arguing the most recent report, issued in September 2013, “was essentially written by a handful of UN scientists that they are fulfilling a narrative on man-made global warming.”
Morano cited various scientific studies that he asserts undermine the UN IPCC’s allegation that a scientific consensus has “settled the global warming thesis.”
“The settled science which the UN IPCC claims, seems to be changing by the week,” Morano countered. “We had two contrary studies in one week.”
The UN interviewer asked Morano what it would take for him to be convinced their exists a man-made global warming threat.
“You would have to see unprecedented climate and weather and we have neither,” Morano answered. “Multiple studies, in fact hundreds of scientists have shown the medieval warm period was as warm or warmer than current temperatures.”
2013: Least extreme U.S. weather ever
As the UN was announcing the 2014 Climate Summit in New York City, Morano’s website, ClimateDepot.com, was publicizing a study issued this week by the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center documenting that U.S. weather in 2013 was the least extreme ever, with the number of tornadoes the lowest in several decades, the fewest U.S. forest fires since 1984, and the number of days of 100-degree Fahrenheit heat turning out to be the lowest in the past 100 years of available records.
“Whether you are talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the United States are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels,” Morano notes, citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, data.
Among the “Top 10 Stories of 2013,” as reported by German Magazine Der Spiegel, was listed a 16-year global warming pause as documented by credible climate scientists worldwide.
“An unexpected development has been occupying the attention of climate scientists,” Der Speigel noted in the sub-heading to a story on “the mysterious” temperature development of the past years. “The air appears not to have warmed up in the last 16 years. Obviously natural phenomena are covering the increasing impact of greenhouse gases.”
Still, as suggested by Der Spiegel’s comment, “global warmers” appear reluctant to abandon an ideological commitment to the theory human-produced, or “anthropogenic,” causes have created a “greenhouse effect” in which carbon dioxide emitted in the burning of hydro-carbon fuels including oil, coal, and natural gas, have caused temperatures on earth to rise.
Global warming skeptics, in addition to Morano, have argued in print the evidence global warming has halted means UN theories of anthropogenic global warming should be abandon.
“It’s time to completely revamp the models so that they start to resemble reality,” wrote climate skeptic P. Gosselin this week in response to the Der Spiegel article. “It’s also time for the media to rethink their position ion the issue rather than trying to hopelessly prop it up.”
WND recently reported that within the span of a week, Cairo saw its first snow in 100 years. Oregon, like several other states, reached its coldest temperature in 40 years. Chicago saw its coldest days ever, and – as if to add finality to the trend – Antarctica reached the coldest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth.
Ironically, just a few years ago, believers in anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming – since renamed “climate change” – claimed cold weather and snow would soon be just a memory.
“Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past,” announced the headline in Britain’s newspaper the Independent at the turn of the millennium. The report quoted David Viner, senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, long considered an authoritative resource for global warming research, as saying snow would soon be “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain.
“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
The rhetoric and predictions of global warming acolytes have been every bit as confusing in the United States, with former vice president and carbon-credit entrepreneur Al Gore telling an audience in a 2009 speech that “the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.” And of course his 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” famously predicted increasing temperatures would cause earth’s oceans to rise by 20 feet, a claim many scientists say is utterly without rational basis.
How such predictions square with current weather reality – multiple reports of the coldest weather in a generation – is unclear.
Fact: The earth has not warmed for the last 15 years. This now-widely-known truth was confirmed in September in a leaked report, the result of six years’ work by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, touted as the world authority on climate change and its supposed causes.
Indeed, researchers were so flummoxed at the utter lack of evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming that, as the London Daily Mail reported, the “world’s top climate scientists were told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years.”
“Climategate” exposes the global warming scam. Get it now at the WND Superstore.
Well-known scientist Art Robinson has spearheaded The Petition Project, which to date has gathered the signatures of 31,487 scientists who agree that there is “no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
They demonize capitalism and freedom … and it’s working! Read Brian Sussman’s new book, “Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America”
Among the scientists signing the petition are 9,029 who hold doctorate degrees in their field of study.
“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, and any other similar proposals,” the petition continues. “The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.”
Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Cal Tech, where he served on the faculty, co-founded the Linus Pauling Institute with Nobel-recipient Linus Pauling, where he was president and research professor. He later founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
He told WND, very simply, that weather does change over time and that the global system goes through cycles, some slightly warmer and some slightly cooler than others.
Right now it’s cool. While it was snowing in Cairo for the first time in a century, Jerusalem received up to 20 inches.
Robinson also told WND it’s interesting to be living in a period when carbon dioxide is rising, yet temperatures are flat or going down.
“We just have to get used to fluctuations,” he said. “Earth does go through cycles.”
What, then, is behind the widespread obsession – with so little evidence – with global warming, and the resulting desire to implement massive new governmental policies? The answer, says Robinson, is not complicated: “Power and money.”
Power is obtained through laws and rules created in response to supposed global warming that limit what people can do with their own lives and property. Through carbon credits and “green” energy projects, which have made Al Gore enormously wealthy, massive amounts of money change hands.
Just weeks ago, the United Nations and World Bank lobbied for spending $600 billion to $800 billion a year on “sustainable energy” to replace oil and gas.
The U.S. has already given tens of millions of dollars to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Stock Up Now: January 1 Is Lightbulb Ban
January 1 has gotten a lot of press for being the deadline for obtaining Obamacare health insurance, but it's going to be another deadline: the day that the federal government outlaws incandescent light bulbs.
As the Heritage Foundation notes:
"In 2007, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law an energy bill that placed stringent efficiency requirements on ordinary incandescent bulbs in an attempt to have them completely eliminated by 2014. The law phased out 100-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs last year.
Some may read this and think: Chill out—it’s just a light bulb. But it’s not just a light bulb. Take a look at the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program. Basically anything that uses electricity or water in your home or business is subject to an efficiency regulation.
When the market drives energy efficiency, it saves consumers money. The more the federal government takes away decisions that are better left to businesses and families, the worse off we’re going to be."
Stock up now. The law that was passed by Democrats and signed by President George W. Bush will soon take those incandescents away, to be replaced by slow-to-light "energy-efficient" bulbs and high-priced LED bulbs.
Unusual SUMMER ice catches the Akademik Shokalskiy
The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, a “highly ice-strengthened” Russian tour ship built in Finland in 1984 “for polar and oceanographic research,” is stranded in Antarctica’s summer ice with 74 passengers and crew members aboard.
The group, which includes two Guardian journalists, is retracing the harrowing 1911 Antarctic expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson, who lost many of his team members and nearly died himself on the frigid continent a century ago.
The ship’s passengers include an Australian research team led by University of New South Wales Professor Chris Turney, who said in November that the voluminous data collected by Mawson 100 years ago is critical to understanding global warming.
But Turney reported that blizzard-like conditions and thick ocean ice is preventing the latest expedition from leaving.
“Unfortunately proceeding north we found our path blocked by ice pushed in by an increasingly strong southeasterly wind. On Christmas Eve we realised we could not get through, in spite of being just 2 nautical miles from open water,” Turney reported in his blog.
“According to reports nobody is in present danger and three nearby icebreakers are being sent to assist,” said Expeditionsonline.com, which books polar expeditions. The ship is “stuck part-way through her Australasian Antarctic Expedition towards Mawson's Hut at Cape Denison,” located about 100 nautical miles east of Dumont D’Urville, a French base on Antarctica, and 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart in Tasmania.
Three icebreakers – China’s Xue Long, Australia’s Aurora Australis, and France’s L’Astrolabe - have been dispatched to the scene, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the international rescue after the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in the United Kingdom received a satellite distress call Christmas morning.
However, it will take the icebreakers at least two days to get to the stranded ship, which “is experiencing very strong winds and limited visibility.” The closest rescue ship is not expected to get to the scene until sometime Friday night.
“While it is early winter in the Arctic, it is early summer in the Antarctic. Continuing patterns seen in recent years, Antarctic sea ice extend remains unusually high, near or above previous daily maximum values,” according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
“Sea ice extent averaged 17.16 million square kilometers (6.63 million square miles) for November. The long-term 1981 to 2010 average extent for this month is 16.30 million square kilometers (6.29 million square miles),” the agency reported.
Birds More Important Than People? Feds Refuse Plea for Road Through Wildlife Refuge
Environmental priorities have trumped the medical concerns of a small Alaskan community. After four years of study, the Obama administration has decided on that the isolated community of King Cove, Alaska may not build a 22-mile, single-lane gravel road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the town of Cold Bay.
The decision, announced on Dec. 23 by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, has infuriated the people of King Cove, where the proposed road has been discussed since the 1980s.
The road would have given them access to emergency medical and other services by way of the all-weather airport at Cold Bay.
"Are birds really more important than people? It seems so hard to believe that the federal government finds it impossible to accommodate both wildlife and human beings," the Associated Press quoted Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack as saying.
The proposed deal included a lopsided land swap: In exchange for using 200 acres within the wildlife refuge for road construction, the State of Alaska and the King Cove Corporation offered to add 55,000 acres to the Izembek Refuge.
But Interior Department refused the deal: "While the over 55,000 acres offered contain important wildlife habitat, they do not provide the wildlife diversity of the internationally recognized wetland habitat of the Izembek isthmus," the final Environmental Impact Statement said. "Simply exchanging lands will not compensate for myriad ripple effects on habitat and wildlife due to uses on and beyond the road, nor would new lands provide habitat for all the same species."
“We’ve undertaken a robust and transparent public process to review the matter from all sides, and I have personally visited the Refuge and met with the King Cove and Cold Bay communities to gain a better understanding of their concerns,” said Jewell. “After careful consideration, I support the (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) Service’s conclusion that building a road through the Refuge would cause irreversible damage not only to the Refuge itself, but to the wildlife that depend on it."
Jewell called Izembek "an extraordinary place," and she said "we owe it to future generations to think about long-term solutions that do not insert a road through the middle of this Refuge and designated wilderness."
Jewell said she understands the concerns about reliable medical transportation but she concluded that other modes of transportation could be improved to meet the needs of the community.
“We will continue to work with the State of Alaska and local communities to support viable alternatives to ensure continued transportation and infrastructure improvements for the health and safety of King Cove residents,” Jewell said.
The Anchorage Daily News noted that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) supported the road project, and even threatened to hold up Jewell's confirmation after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended against building it.
"I am angry. I am disappointed. I am frustrated. I am sad for the people of King Cove," the newspaper quoted Murkowski as saying. "Four thousand miles from where they're sitting, somebody has said you can't have a 10-mile, one-lane, non-commercial-use road so you can access the second longest runway in the state of Alaska to get out for medical reasons."
According to the Interior Department, the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1960, serves as vital habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl – including 98 percent of the world’s population of Pacific black brant -- along with grizzly bear, caribou and salmon. The refuge also contains "internationally significant eelgrass beds," lagoons, wetlands and hundreds of thousands of federally-protected waterfowl and shorebirds.
"These species are important subsistence resources for Native Alaskans. A road would have permanently bisected the isthmus, where most of the Refuge’s 315,000 acres of congressionally designated wilderness are located," the Interior Department said.
"By designating this area as wilderness in 1980, the most protective category of public lands, Congress recognized the need to protect Izembek as a place where natural processes prevail with few signs of human presence," Jewell's news release said.
Prodded by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, Congress in 1998 provided over $37.5 million in federal funding as an alternative to a road through the Izembek Refuge and Izembek Wilderness. The funding upgraded the medical clinic, improved the King Cove airstrip, and created a transportation link between King Cove and Cold Bay via an unpaved road from King Cove to a hovercraft and terminal. But hovercraft service between King Cove and Cold Bay was halted in 2010.
Since the road will not be built, an aluminum landing craft/passenger ferry eventually may be used as a replacement for hovercraft service.
Western Australia to kill sharks -- Greenies disgusted
SHARKS bigger than three metres will be "humanely destroyed" with a firearm and discarded offshore, the tender for the State Government's baited drum line strategy reveals.
Commercial fishermen have until the end of next week to bid for the contract to deploy, manage and maintain up to 72 shark drum lines one kilometre off popular beaches in Perth and the South-West.
An "experienced licensed commercial fishing organisation" is sought for the service, which was announced following the death of surfer Chris Boyd, 35, at Gracetown last month.
The tender request includes new detail about the measure, including:
* Any white shark, tiger shark or bull shark greater than 3m total length caught on the drum lines will be "humanely destroyed";
* Current direction on the humane destruction of large sharks "involves the use of a firearm";
* Any sharks that are dead or destroyed will be tagged and taken offshore (distance to be confirmed) and discarded;
* In the initial stages of the program a number of sharks may be brought to shore;
* All other animals taken on the drum lines will be released alive "where possible";
* Any animals which are dead, or considered not in a condition to survive, are to be humanely destroyed, tagged and taken offshore for disposal;
* Drums will be supplied by the Department of Fisheries, but the bait will be supplied by the fishermen and preferably sourced from shark;
* The drum lines will be patrolled for 12 hours each day, between 6am and 6pm, seven days a week;
* Drum lines will be baited at both the commencement of, and prior to the end of, each patrol day, will all used baits disposed onshore;
* Exemptions from "various state legislation" which prohibit the take, or attempted take, of protected shark species will be provided;
* It is likely a 50m exclusion zone will be implemented around each drum line. Only vessels operated by the contractor will be allowed within the exclusion zone;
The successful firm will also respond to shark threats, including the deployment of additional drum lines within 30 minutes.
The document, issued by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, says the measure is a "direct response to the unprecedented shark fatalities that have occurred in Western Australia over the last three years".
Shark kill strategy 'disgusting'
Sea Shepherd Australia managing director Jeff Hansen described the measures as "absolutely disgusting" at a time when the rest of the world is moving towards shark conservation.
"I just don't know how the West Australian Government is getting away with what they are doing. We need more legal people to look into this to see how this is legal in this day and age," Mr Hansen said.
University of Western Australia shark biologist Ryan Kemptser, the author of an open letter calling for a rethink on the shark-bait policy, said: "Popular beaches and surf breaks can be protected just as effectively by simply moving sharks alive offshore instead of killing them and then dumping their bodies offshore, which is what the Government proposes to do.
"It would require exactly the same resources but it wouldn't result in killing any sharks, therefore protecting our local ecosystems."
Fisheries Minister Ken Baston today said since 2011 the State Government had invested $5m on taggging, deterrents and other innovations to better understand sharks.
"I agree research is important, however, we have seen seven fatal shark attacks over the past three years and it's time to put human safety first," he said.
"Western Australians who use the water expect the Government to take action to decrease the risk of shark attack at our popular beaches.
"Our new policy of setting drumlines to target sharks deemed a threat at these beaches will be in place very soon. The Government has committed to taking immediate steps, while continuing long term research."
As announced earlier this month, drum lines will be deployed 24 hours a day, initially from January until April.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 8:04 PM